Verizon Says Outages Were Caused By ‘Growing Pains’

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NEW YORK (MainStreet) – It’s been a rough couple of weeks for Verizon Wireless subscribers.

First, Verizon Wireless (Stock Quote: VZ) subscribers who use the company’s high-speed 4G LTE network were hit with multiple outages that rendered their mobile internet access useless. Then, the company announced Thursday that it will be adding a $2 “convenience fee” for the privilege of paying their bill online or over the phone. Needless to say, customers aren’t feeling too keen on Verizon right now.

It doesn’t look like Verizon is about to back down on the convenience fee, barring a Bank of America-style customer revolt. But it is attempting to reassure its customers that the 4G outages won’t become a regular occurrence. The company put out a press release Thursday that explains the spate of network interruptions, calling them “growing pains.”

“Each incident has been different from a technical standpoint,” explains the company’s statement. “Our engineers have successfully diagnosed those past triggering events, and they have not re-occurred. We also work diligently to rectify technical problems in the Network before they affect any customers.”

Unfortunately, the statement is long on spin and short on apologies, with the company describing itself as a “pioneer,” describing the network “BY FAR the largest and the most advanced 4GLTE wireless network in the world” and emphasizing that connectivity has been available “99 percent of the time.” Notably, the company did not include the words “apologize” or “sorry” in its statement. Some consumer analysts have predicted that more brands will need to be humble and apologetic in 2012, but it looks like Verizon hasn’t seen that note yet.

It’s nice to hear that the company has diagnosed and put a stop to whatever issues causes the outages in the first place. At the same time, it is a bit disconcerting that there were multiple “triggering events” as opposed to a single underlying issue. While we have no doubt that the company is indeed taking proactive steps to strengthen the network and prevent further disruptions, we’ll be curious to see if the “growing pains” continue for subscribers.

Matt Brownell is a staff reporter for MainStreet. You can reach him by email at matthew.brownell@thestreet.com, or follow him on Twitter @Brownellorama.

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